We’re all doing our part by practicing physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected.

Brain Injury Canada has created a list of weekly challenges to inspire some fun at home. You can do these challenges in order along with us, or you can pick and choose which ones you like.

We’re encouraging everyone to be #TogetherApart by sharing the results of your challenge on social media. Don’t forget to also use the hashtag #BICChallenge and tag us!

1.Try a new recipe

We all have our favourite recipes, but now is the perfect time to experiment to try a new recipe. It can be simple, complex, sweet, or savoury, but it should be something you’ve never made before. If you’re with family, ask them to participate.

Make sure to pick the recipe you want to try before you create your shopping list so you’ll have all of your ingredients.

Resources to find a new recipe:

2. Exercise each day

This doesn’t mean you have to work up a sweat – it just means get your body moving in some way. Examples of exercises include:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • An at-home workout video
  • Dancing
  • Stretching

Aim for 20-30 minutes a day of moving each day of the week.

3. Take a photo a day

Most of us have phones with cameras. Now is the time to take advantage of them by finding and photographing interesting things in our homes and outside. Photographs are a great way to preserve and share memories.

If you don’t have a camera, you can create a word picture: write down or type a description of the object or scene you would like to photograph.

Editing photographs can also be incredibly fun. If you want to add a professional touch to your snapshots, check out these free video editing applications that allow you to edit right on your phone. If you prefer to edit on a computer, there are also free online editing platforms.

If you want to take it to the next level, there is an application for smartphones called 1 second everyday. You record a 1 second video each day, and your app turns them into a movie. It’s a fantastic way to keep a quick daily diary, and fun to look at later on.

4. Listen to one new musical artist a day

Music is a wonderful thing, and there are so many artists out there to discover. Now is the perfect time to try and find new musicians. You could even discover a brand new genre you’ve never tried before.

There are several places you can discover new music.

Please note: some of these players have free and paid versions with different features.

If you really aren’t sure where to start, try Gnoosic. Gnoosic is an online search tool specifically for music. It asks you to name some of your favourite bands/musicians, and gives you a recommendation. You can then select whether you like it, don’t like it, or if you aren’t sure. It then gives you another suggestion. Don’t worry, it doesn’t ask for any personal information.

Many musical artists are now offering free online concerts through their social media pages. Billboard.com has posted a schedule, which they update regularly. Not only can you find new artists to listen to, but you can check out a concert from the comfort of your own home – and at the volume you want.

5. Learn one new skill

When you’ve got some extra time, you can try learning a brand new skill. This could be anything!

  • Knitting
  • Learning a language
  • Pet tricks
  • DIY home repairs that are safe to do
  • How to play a new game
  • How to draw or paint
  • Play an instrument
  • Make decorations and other crafts
  • Creating a budget

There are videos and how-to articles for a lot of skills out there (try YouTube), and you can take as much time as you need to practice.

6. Drink the recommended amount of water each day

This one seems simple – but most of us don’t get the recommended amount of water each day. It’s important to drink plenty of water for our overall health and happiness. We’ve all heard the ‘8 cups a day’ rule. While that is a generally good rule to follow, factors such as exercise, the outside environment, and your overall health. Medical experts say that a good way to get the right amount of water is to drink a glass with each meal and between each meal. You should also drink before, during and after exercise and if you feel hungry/thirsty.

If you have trouble remembering to drink water, there are a few smartphone apps that can help remind you.

7. Do one nice thing for yourself a day

It’s nice to be productive while practicing physical distancing, but it’s more important to feel good. Sometimes that means not being productive, but doing something nice for yourself instead. Self-care is something we should all be doing, and now is a great opportunity to explore new ways to make yourself happy.

Some self-care ideas include:

  • Having a bath
  • Treating yourself to a favourite snack
  • Having a nice nap
  • Do some organization
  • Watch your favourite movie
  • Read a good book

If it’s something you enjoy doing, it counts as a self-care activity. So let your imagination run wild!

8. Support a local business or charity

Many local businesses and charities are struggling right now. They have either had to close down, or have moved their business online either through a website or social media.

There are many ways you can support a local business or charity

  • Order a meal to be delivered
  • Purchase a product or gift card
  • Make a donation
  • Share their social media posts on your own pages with friends and families

By looking for local places to support, you might even find something brand new!

9. Send a letter/email to someone you love

Some of us are at home with family or roommates. But many people are home alone – this can be incredibly lonely.

For this challenge, write a letter or an email to someone you know. Try to focus on people who would appreciate hearing from a friend, especially if they live on their own.

10. Make a time capsule

Time capsules aren’t just for grade school projects – it’s also great for adults. A time capsule is a container you fill with meaningful items, seal up, and put away until a future date.

There are many options for things you can put in a time capsule. It can be treasured items, magazine/newspaper clippings, notes to your future self, photographs, or little crafts.

Here’s a great guide on making a time capsule.

11. Write yourself a letter

You don’t have to make a time capsule to write yourself a letter. Futureme.org is a website that allows you to write to your future self and select when you want to receive it. It will then send you an email with that letter when the time comes. Many people who have used the free service say they completely forgot about their letters until they found them in their email – and they were touched by the things their past selves said.

If you would prefer to keep your letter handwritten, seal it up in an envelope and write your name and the date you want to open it on the outside. Then have it put in a place where you won’t lose it.

12. Read a book

With the amount of digital entertainment available, many of us don’t get to read as much as we’d like. This challenge is simple – start (and if possible, finish) a book you have wanted to read.

If you don’t have any books in your home, check to see if your local or provincial library system has digital services.

You can also give audiobooks a try. Audible is run by Amazon, and you can sign up and get one free book. It does have a monthly cost after a free trial, so make sure to thoroughly read all the sign up rules. You can also purchase audiobooks from Indigo.

More challenges you can try yourself